11 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 11/08/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here 

Audio Recording » click here


1.   Discussion and Possible Action on Pier Property and Block Q Initial Proposals from Selected Engineering Firms – Commissioners Murdock and Kwiatkowski
  a. Ordinance 22-23, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues                 and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023 (Amendment No. 2
  b. Ordinance 22-24, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and        Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023 (Amendment No. 3

Agenda Packet – pages 3 – 10


1a.
During our onsite visit, the scope of work for Block Q will be defined in phases and will be divided up by the extent of cost of each phase of construction. The phases discussed will be as follows:

    • Phase 1 – Overall Masterplan of Block Q (this phase will include researching the Local and Government regulations that will impact the design and construction of this area, a site plan showing the proposed layout of the parking area and new ADA and NCSBC compliant restrooms and a rendering of the site.
    • Phase II – Provide design and permit drawings to close a portion Carolina Avenue designated as Tract 1 on the survey from Coastal geomatics, dated 07-06-2022 (approximately 12,215 square feet of roadway). This phase will include a TIA (Traffic Impact Analysis) study of this area.
    • Phase Ill – This phase will consist of a complete set construction and bid documents for Block Q that will be derived by :1 determined scope of work by the Board of Commissioners after reviewing Phase I (Overall Masterplan) and the  potential  cost  of work for construction

Pinnacle Architecture, P.A. fee proposal for Architectural and Engineering design of the proposed Phases listed above are as follows:

    • Phase I Overall Masterplan – Proposed Design Fee                      $20,000
    • Phase II Road Closure -Proposed Design fee                                  $18,000
    • Phase III Construction and Bid documents                                    To Be Determined

Budget Amendment – Block Q
The attached budget amendment in the amount of $38,000 is a necessary preaudit component of the Pinnacle /Block Q contract consideration. A new budget expense line item is proposed to be established titled Block Q Professional Services and funded via a revenue appropriation of BPART Fund Balance.

Suggested Motion: Approval of Budget Amendment

Moved funds of $38,000
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense account#50.0710.6003

Previously reported – October 2022
The Board selected the following firms:
Pier / Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects
Block Q / Pinnacle Architecture         
David will request a proposal from each firm with contract terms
The next step would be to enter in a contractual agreement with them

Update –
Randy the representative from Pinnacle addressed the BOC’s questions. The first two (2) phases are dependent on the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) study. Expects it will take approximately three (3) to four (4) weeks to get that done and  creating the documents will take approximately two (2) to three (3) months. The motion was made to approve the proposal and the budget amendment  as submitted to the Board.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


1b.
We understand this project to be a master-planning drawing of the existing pier facility and conceptually illustrate proposed future building and site improvements. We will begin to identify steps needed as far as permitting and testing to prepare future designs for the pier and building.

The existing pier will be renovated. We understand the extremely deficient existing pier house will be modified to re-open and serve the pier once it is renovated.

A detailed property survey will be needed prior to creating the site master plan drawing.

The master plan site plan drawing will incorporate but not be limited to the following.
Future work will be noted or shown conceptually:

      1. Renovate existing fishing pier with a new wood ADA ramp
      2. Renovate existing pier house
        • Keep work under 50% of the appraised
        • Begin to identify phases that keep the work under 50%.
        • Incorporate exterior restrooms within the existing building.
        • Potential outdoor decks adjacent to existing pier
      3. Show an emergency vehicle cross over onto the beach strand from the pier parking area,
      4. Study the existing parking to maximize layout for the renovated
      5. Study camper parking layout for optimized efficiency and camping
      6. Showers to be located near the exterior accessed restrooms with the existing

A listing of site, pier and building improvements. We will also identify all known permits and testing that will need to occur in future design phases.

Budget Amendment – Pier
The attached budget amendment in the amount of $35,000 implements previous board direction to refine line-item expenses to detail developmental costs of the pier properties more succinctly. Approval will be necessary to satisfy the pre-audit requirements associated with the Bowman Murray Hemingway contract expenses in addition to providing for an additional survey, the facility’s operational expenses to date, and those expected to occur through the end of the FY.

Suggested Motion: Approval of budget amendment and authorize town manager to execute contract.

Moved funds of $35,000
From Revenue account #50.0710.6100
to Expense account#50.0710.6103 & #50.0710.6104

Previously reported – October 2022
The Board selected the following firms:
Pier / Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects     
Block Q / Pinnacle Architecture
David will request a proposal from each firm with contract terms
The next step would be to enter in a contractual agreement with them

Work Session with Firm Selected for Pier Project
Previously the Board selected Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects for the pier project. Chip a representative of the firm was present to discuss the Request for Qualifications (RFQ). He wanted to gather information so that the firm can make a proposal to the Board. In other words, he wanted to know what would they like to do with the property. Commissioner Kwiatkowski attempted to walk him through what they have discussed and considered so far. Commissioner Murdock went into a little more detail about some potential options for the property. Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans went over the regulations that would apply to the building renovations. The architectural firm plans to have a dialogue with Timbo to make sure they understand all the potential regulations and restrictions that affect what they can do there. The firm will submit a proposal to develop a conceptual site plan for the Board to consider.

Update –
Chip the representative from BMH addressed the BOC’s questions. A detailed property survey will be needed prior to creating the site master plan drawing. From the time they get the survey it will take them approximately two (2) months to develop a master site plan. The discussion was primarily about budget restraints of what they can do and short term vs. long term plan of action there. The motion was made to approve the proposal and the budget amendment  as submitted to the Board.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

2.   Status of Stormwater and Water Tower Request for Qualifications Preparations and Agreement on Desired Timeframe for Board Review of Drafts – Commissioners Murdock and Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – pages 11 – 21

THB Request for Qualifications Stormwater Management & Consulting Services
The Town of Holden Beach invites qualified professional engineering firms (PEF) to submit sealed proposals for qualifications to provide stormwater management policy and planning, infrastructure management and design, and consulting.

Request for Qualifications
The Town of Holden Beach (Town) is seeking Request for Qualifications (RFQs) from professional stormwater planning firms to lead and facilitate the development of a comprehensive Stormwater Feasibility Study, Cost of Service and Rate Study associated with a stormwater management plan for the Town.

Update –
Town staff benchmarked off the Surf City RFQ which was successful in getting a number of proposals. The motion was to approve with some modifications that were discussed. Board requested that the RFQ should be sent out as soon as they can.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously


BOC’s Regular Meeting 11/15/22

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1.   Annual Monitoring Report – Fran Way, Applied Technology Management (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet – page 12

Fran Way, our coastal consultant engineer with Applied Technology Management, will present the results from the yearly monitoring of the shoreline. Surveys were conducted in the spring and the firm has been analyzing results to evaluate shoreline changes over the past year.

Previously reported – November 2021
The Town participates in annual beach monitoring to maintain a healthy beach and dune system and to keep our engineered beach status. These reports are also instrumental in serving as a baseline account of sand volume as compared to post-storm surveys. Mr. Fran Way with ATM is here to present data from the annual report and highlight changes since last year.

Applied Technology Management
ATM is a coastal engineering firm hired by the town to do the following:

    • Annual monitoring, data collection and reporting
    • Assess sand erosion
    • Evaluate nourishment
    • FEMA projects cost reimbursement support
    • Meet government regulatory permitting conditions

Annual monitoring has been occurring since 2001.

We have an engineered beach –
which means it has been nourished and is being monitored.

Update –
Fran Way presented the annual beach monitoring report. They have completed the annual survey of the beach strand. The last two (2) storm events were not included in this report. Primarily they make sure the beach is healthy. Most sections of the beach strand are stable and had accretion compared to baseline conditions comparison. Beach equilibration has occurred, projects are designed to include a volume of sand that the waves and currents will transport offshore to fill in the lower parts of the beach profile. Some of the sand lost off shore has been come back in to the system. Ongoing beach management activity has made the beach strand wider and healthier than it was twenty years ago.

 Ongoing Beach Management Activities

      • USACE 50-year study
      • FEMA coordination
      • LWFIX & Bend-Winder
      • West end analysis
      • LWF Outer Channel Dredging/Navigation

Fran was wandering around during the presentation; the audio was going in and out so you could not hear everything that he said. Speakers need to talk into the microphone in order for us to hear what they are saying. Which part don’t they get?


2.   Presentation of Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 Audit Results – Elsa Watts, Martin Starnes and Associates (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet – separate packet

Audit Report » click here

Audit Report Presentation » click here

Financial Highlights

    • The assets and deferred outflows of resources of the Town of Holden Beach exceeded its liabilities and deferred inflows of resources at the close of the fiscal year by $33,701,211 (net position).
    • The government’s total net position increased by $575,818, primarily due to an increase in the governmental activities of $558,562 and increases in the business-type activities of $17,256.
    • As of the close of the current fiscal year, the Town of Holden Beach’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $40,486,383, an increase of $26,618,439 in comparison with the prior year. Of this amount, $3,761,091 is available for spending at the government’s discretion.
    • At the end of the current fiscal year, unassigned fund balance for the General Fund was $3,761,091, or 83%, of total General Fund expenditures for the fiscal year.

Update –
Auditor’s report for fiscal year 2021 – 2022 audit was presented by Elsa the project manager. The audit was submitted to the Local Government Commission timely and approved with no changes. The auditor Martin Starnes was able to render an unmodified/clean opinion; which is the best possible opinion that you can receive. The good news is that Revenues continue to exceed Expenditures.


3.   Audit Committee Message to the Board of Commissioners on the External Audit for the Year Ending June 30, 2022 – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – pages 13 – 15

The independent auditor’s report presents the audit of the financial statements of the governmental activities, the business type activities and each major fund of the Town of Holden Beach as of and for the year ending June 30,2022. In addition, audits of the Town’s compliance with federal and state requirements for programs funded by grants were performed.

In the auditor’s opinion, the individual fund financial statements, budgetary schedules, and other schedules are fairly stated, in all material respects, in relation to the basic financial statements as a whole. No material or significant deficiencies identified with respect to internal controls over financial reporting were found.

For both Federal and State awards, the were no audit findings required to be reported under either federal or state regulations, nor were any material or significant deficiencies identified with respect to internal controls.

The Town’s financial department is to be commended for its diligence and attention to detail in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, which has resulted in no findings of concern in any of the financial statements or internal controls audited as summarized below.

Audit Committee Report » click here

Update –
The Audit Committee reviewed the audit and submitted the message for the public that is in the agenda packet which is an overview of the salient points. Commissioner Kwiatkowski complemented our staff on having a clean audit.


4.   Audit Committee Recommendation to the Board of Commissioners to Authorize the Town Manager to Issue a Request for Proposals as Soon as Practicable for Contracting with an External Audit Firm – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 16

The 3-year contract with the current external audit firm is expiring. With the heavy workload being experienced by external audit firms, it is important to move quickly to secure a firm for the upcoming 3 years.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski stated it is usual and customary to change audit firms after a three-year contract. The Audit committee recommends that the BOC’s authorize the Town Manager to put out Request for Proposals as soon as practical. The Board instructed the Town Manager to issue RFP for an external audit firm.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


5.   Department of Transportation Ocean Boulevard Resurfacing/Bike Path Construction Update – Caitlin Marks (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet – background information was not provided

Previously reported – October 2021
OBW paving/bike path are still on track, but they were some eighteen (18) to twenty-four (24) months off.

Previously reported – July 2022
The NC Department of Transportation has informed the town that due to permitting issues raised during their review of the Ocean Boulevard Repaving/Bike Lane Project, construction will not begin in September as previously planned. Construction is now scheduled to start after the first of the year. The project will still have a completion date of Memorial Day.

Previously reported – October 2022
NCDOT has contacted the Town and informed us that there is an issue in getting the CAMA permit for the resurfacing/bike lane project. It will require additional work to get it reconciled and execute the contract. They are inconclusive on whether the project will happen this spring, though they are still hoping to complete it before Memorial Day. Not what we want to hear but what we have been told.

Update –
Caitlin did a brief recap for the proposed bike lanes. The plan includes bike lanes of 5’ on each side of Ocean Boulevard. It will be an asymmetrical widening, that is 7’ on the south side and only 3’ on the north side where the sidewalk is.  They had some issues/challenges with permitting that have been resolved. They successfully got the permit issued on November 9th. In order to do so they agreed to monitor their work for any drainage issues and committed to address them after the project is completed. At the end of this month, they will advertise the project. One month later they will open bids and know what the actual prices for the contract are. At that time, they will decide whether or not to proceed with the project. The date of availability is at the end of January, with a finish date of Memorial Day.


6.   Discussion and Possible Action on the North Side Right-of-Way After Bike Lane Construction – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 17

Bike lane construction on Ocean Blvd is projected to use approximately 3 ft of the current semi vegetated area between the road’s edge and the sidewalk. I have received questions from a few citizens on what is being planned to “fill in” the empty space between the edge of the bike lane and the sidewalk as well as whether some sidewalk modifications might be needed/warranted in areas already subject to significant flooding.

Specifically:

      1. Is it DOT or the Town that will designate what “landscape material” will be used to fill in area between bike lane edge and the sidewalk?
      2. If DOT, do we know what is planned?
      3. If THB, has Staff considered possibilities and preferences?
      4. Is there an approved NC DOT pervious sidewalk option that would provide better drainage and if so could it be beneficial to replace existing sidewalk in areas already subject to flooding?

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski asked Caitlin to respond since they were here at the meeting. The gap will stay what it is now, whatever vegetation grows there. Currently they do not have any pervious material for either the sidewalks or the bike lanes.


7.  Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Agenda Packet – pages 18 – 23

Police Report » click here


Police Patch
Jeremy reviewed the actions that were taken by them last month

Business as usual for this time of the year


Otto Connect issued 2,311 parking citations for this season with 64,000 vehicles that parked here. The infraction rate was just 3.5%, which is low compared to other towns with paid parking.

The speed limit on Ocean Boulevard did not change this year and it has not been an issue thus far

Chief Dixon recognized the Merchants Association that raised funds of $11,000 for body cameras for the Police Department

Public Service Announcement
Next major event is Run Holden Beach from 7:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, December 10th. Expect traffic delays, plan accordingly.

The police department currently has only eight (8) officers of the ten (10) they are budgeted to have. 

It’s that time of year, rental season ends, and break-in season officially starts
Requested that we all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

If you know something, hear something, or see something –
call 911 and let the police deal with it.


Neighborhood Watch

      • Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
      • Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
      • Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
      • Submit completed Property Registration Form
      • Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home

8.   Inspections Department Report – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 24 – 26

Inspections Report » click here

Update –
Timbo briefly reviewed department activity last month. The department hosted a contractors information seminar that had over seventy (70) contractors that attended this meeting. Timbo congratulated Carey Redwine our new Inspector since she has completed a number of required hurdles and has now obtained a Level 1 certification.


9.  Discussion and Possible Action on the Planning & Zoning Board’s Response to the Board’s Tasker Concerning Frontal Dunes (Code of Ordinances Section 94.03 Frontal Dune Policies and Regulations) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 27 – 50 which is too large to include here

Frontal Dune Policies

Holden Beach Code of Ordinances Submitted by the Planning & Zoning Board
.   a) 94.03, Frontal Dune Policies and Regulations

Town would like walkways to go over newly created dunes.
.       * Currently there is no requirement to build any walkways

Most walkways are not in compliance including the towns.
.    1) Walkways are supposed to go over the frontal dune, the one closest to the water
.       a) The goal is to minimize people walking across the dunes
.       b) Ordinance has $500 fine for walking on dunes – no citations have been issued

Significant cost to oceanfront property owners.
.     *
No easy or inexpensive solution

Complicating the issue:
.    1)
the situation varies based on location on the island
.    2)
sand and dunes are constantly shifting

It does not make sense to continue to spend money to put sand on the beach strand and then not address this issue.  All agreed we need to protect the dunes, now we need to figure out how we can do that.

Proposed three possible solutions:
.   1) Change ordinance
.   2) Change definition of frontal dune
.   3) Require portable board and chain paths 

Previously reported – June 2022
Discussion and Possible Action to Request that the Planning & Zoning Board Evaluate andPropose any Appropriate Changes to Ordinance §94.03, Frontal Dune Policy and Regulations, in Particular §94.03(C)(2) Regarding Walkway Policies that Limit Construction South of the Frontal Dune as Defined in §94.03(A) With the Exception of Property Owners with Lots that Have More Than 300 Feet from the Seaward Toe of the Frontal Dune to the Last Line of Natural Stable Vegetation and Also Advise the Board on the Suitability of Moving Portions of 94.03 to Chapter 157: Zoning Code – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – pages 178 – 181

At the request of a resident, I have looked at the 1100 block dunes where the concern was raised about walkway restrictions keeping some homeowners from easily accessing the strand across multiple dunes although it is less than 300 ft as stipulated in the current ordinance 94.03, the distance and secondary dune sizes are not insignificant). I think ordinance 94.03 could benefit from a Planning and Zoning Board evaluation and possible suggestions for changes, particularly regarding walkway policies, taking into consideration what some other beach towns are doing. Feedback from P&Z at or before the October BOCM would be an appropriate timeframe. If the Board agrees, an appropriate action would be a motion for P&Z to evaluate and as appropriate propose improvements to ordinance 94.03, with particular attention to walkway restrictions, and also advise the BOCM whether Chapter 94.03 or portions thereof should be moved to Chapter 157 at or before the October BOCM.

 They decided it could benefit from a Planning and Zoning Board evaluation and possible recommendations for any appropriate changes to the Ordinance. It was suggested that they should benchmark off of some of the surrounding island communities. Timbo recommended that a portion of the Ordinance should be moved to Chapter 157. A response was requested at or before the October BOCM. 

Previously reported – October 2022
Discussion and Possible Action on the Planning & Zoning Board’s Response to the Board’s Tasker Concerning Frontal Dunes (Code of Ordinances Section 94.03 Frontal Dune Policies and Regulations) – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 25 – 27

Subject: Amendments to 94.03 specifically exceptions to walkways with over 300 feet to the last line of Natural Stable Vegetation.

The Board tasked the Planning Board with review of the 94.03, The TOHBPB reviewed and discussed Ordinance 94.03 and asked the staff to return  with options, Planning staff presented  5 options to the Planning Board at the next scheduled meeting. The Planning Board advertised the proposed changes to the public and then voted to send the approved changes forward to the Board.

Note: Town staff supports these changes.

The Planning & Zoning Board voted unanimously on September 27, 2022 to send forward option 5 (see attached), to the Board of Commissioners for approval.

Staff recommended changes to remain in 94.03

Staff input: Assistant Town Manager Christy Ferguson, Development service Officer Rhonda Wooten, Planning and Inspections Director Timothy Evans, and Public Works Director Chris Clemmons

§94.03 FRONTAL DUNE POLICIES AND REGULATIONS

 (2)   Frontal dune policy and restrictions.

         (a)   Whenever property owners elect to construct a walkway across the frontal dune on their property, to provide pedestrian access to the beach strand, the following specifications shall apply. (Note: the same criteria applies when property owners seek to apply for town approval of an encroachment agreement to construct a walkway over public property adjacent to their residence.)

    1. The walkway shall be constructed only of building materials approved by the North Carolina State Building Code North Carolina Building Code. The walking passageway shall be no wider than four feet. The underside of the walkway across the frontal dune shall be a minimum of 18 inches and a maximum of 36 inches above the crest of the sand. Exception: Town owned CAMA accessways may utilize a six-foot walkway.
    2. The first step down to the beach strand shall be placed no farther seaward than the beginning of the downward slope of the dune, or the existing line of escarpment determined by averaging the downward slope or escarpment line for the property in question and those properties directly adjacent.
    3. Steps shall be of open tread construction with a maximum riser height of eight and one-quarter inches and a minimum tread depth of nine inches and shall meet the requirements of the North Carolina State Building Code North Carolina Residential Building Code.
    4. In accordance with North Carolina State Division of Coastal Management’s enforcement of the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA), the walkway access to the beach strand over the frontal dune shall be conclusively presumed to entail negligible alteration of the dune. The walkway shall be raised on posts or pilings a minimum of two feet and a maximum of five feet depth into the dune. In no case shall the walkway be permitted if it will, in the opinion of the Local CAMA Permit Officer, diminish the dune’s capacity as a protective barrier against flooding and erosion.
    5. Except for handicap ramps, steps from the walkway to the beach strand shall be placed only perpendicular to the frontal dune line.
    6. No structure other than the one four-foot-wide wooden walkway shall be located south of the landward toe of the frontal dune. This applies to decks, gazebos, sitting areas and other additions that a property owner may desire to make to the allowed walkway. Structures (other than the four-foot walkway) that exist when this section is adopted may remain in place temporarily; however, all such structures must be removed no later than December 31, 2003, in order to be in compliance with this section. A building permit is required if there are any repairs needed to walkway load bearing surfaces, such as supporting posts. Adding additional lengths to supporting posts shall constitute a repair. Exception: town-owned CAMA accessways may utilize a six-foot walkway. Exception: property owners with lots that have more than 300 feet from the seaward toe of the frontal dune to the last line of natural stable vegetation, as determined by the local CAMA officer, may install a single walkway with a maximum width of four feet; the walkway shall be a minimum of three feet high with a maximum height not to exceed four feet; and shall terminate at the last line of natural stable vegetation. Walkways shall be permitted and built-in accordance with all federal, state and local building requirements. Exception: swimming pools may be located south of the town’s designated frontal dune; placement of pools and decking shall not extend more than 50 feet from the established seaward toe of designated frontal dune. This exception only applies when the CAMA dune is more seaward than the town’s frontal dune. 

Timbo reported that they considered five (5) options and selected this one. Text was amended and there were no substantial changes proposed. Commissioner Kwiatkowski asked him for more information on the Planning & Zoning Board’s response to the Board’s tasker. She didn’t just want their recommendation but also wanted to see how they came to that conclusion. By Board consensus they asked him to come back with support information for their position. He agreed to provide more information at the next scheduled meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


It was my understanding that  they were supposed to be reviewing allowing walkways that were less than 300 feet as stipulated in the current ordinance. The proposed ordinance does not appear to address this issue. 

Update –
Timbo stated that he was asked to bring this back with support information for their position. He provided the information which is included in the agenda packet. Bottomline is that they considered five (5) options and selected this one. He said that it seems that the general consensus including CAMA on protecting the beach strand is that they believe it is better not to have these structures going out to the frontal dunes. He thinks that the original concern was that people were cutting pathways through the dunes. He asked the question: Which is better to have people walk through the dunes or walkways that go all the way out. Apparently the staff and the Planning & Zoning Board feel not having walkways is better. They decided to put it on the next regular meeting agenda to consider adopting the text changes.


10.  Condition and Safety Issues with Town-Owned Property at 796 Ocean Boulevard West – Joel Ehle, Homeowner 798 Ocean Boulevard West (Mayor Holden)

Agenda Packet – pages 51 – 72 which is too large to include here

My name is Joel Ehle. My parents built their dream home at 798 OBW in 1983. Our family has come to Holden Beach and “Double Happiness” every year since. We now have four generations of Ehle’s regularly coming to Holden Beach and Double Happiness.

I would have liked to have come and make a presentation in person at the June 15th meeting, but I live in Texas and have just returned from two weeks at Double Happiness. Therefore, I am asking my letter to be read into the record for the meeting and for the Town of Holden Beach to take quick actions to address the deteriorating conditions of 796 Ocean Blvd West, formally Sandy Side and more recently Two Views.

Since the City began using 796 OBW as a base for the construction of the new pump station, it does not appear any basic maintenance  has been done on the exterior  of the house.  Screens are torn and flapping in  the wind, green mold and mildew is prevalent  on the siding, the siding is fading and in need   of replacing or repainting, the AC stands are in disrepair, the ACs leaning and rusting, the painted trim is peeling, and bare wood exposed with rusted nail stains, and there has been an antenna installed at the back of the house and a wire strung from the antenna to a connection point on the side of the house.

That is a verbal picture of what we, our guests, and our renter see first as the start up the stairs to our home.

Without quick and decisive action on the part of the Town, 796 OBW will continue to deteriorate and be not just an eyesore, but a safety hazard. It will also be a detriment to the reviews and returning guest rentals for Double Happiness.

My request is for the Town of Holden Beach to allocate funds to bring this property up to a common standard of maintenance and appearance and to complete the repairs as soon as possible.

I am attaching pictures of 796 OBW so that the Mayor, Commissioners, and the City Manager can see for themselves how this house has fallen into major disrepair.

Why am I here – What is my ask?

    • June 8, 2021, Letter to the Board of Commissioners (attached in Appendix)
    • Letter was included in the June 15, 2021, Commissioner’s Meeting Packet
    • Letter stated, “My request is for  the  Town of Holden Beach to  allocate funds to bring this property up to a common standard of maintenance and appearance and to complete the repairs as soon as “
    • Fast Forward almost 18-Months to this evening:
        • No response from the Board of Commissioners
        • Nothing of substance has been done to maintain 796 OBW
        • Building is continuing to deteriorate
        • Lawn/ Lot overgrowth and lack of proper maintenance continue
        • Property continues to be a health and safety hazard
        • Breeding ground for rodents, snakes, and other pests
        • My family and my guests must look at this eyesore
    • This time, I am here in person to make the
    • Please, please, please take responsibility for the proper maintenance of 796 OBW
        • Prep, Prime, and Paint exterior surfaces
        • Repair/ Replace damaged wood
        • Remove or replace exterior rusting HAVC units
        • Remove or replace exterior HAVC stands
        • Clear overgrowth in landscape
        • Clear trash and storm damage materials from lot
        • Remove TV Antenna and wire hanging from back of building
        • Remove or replace torn screens

Previously reported – September 2019
Ordinance 19-15, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#3)

    1. Provide funds for purchase of property at 796 OBW – approved $349,000
    2. A significant portion of the cost of acquiring this property is offset by us no longer needing to do additional acoustical engineering.

Previously reported – January 2020
We need to determine what we will do with the building. The first step is deciding how you want to use the property. Pat’s position is that we need to keep the building because of noise abatement issues. The board wanted to hand this off to the Parks & Recreation Committee for them to develop some potential uses.

Previously reported – February 2020
Most of the discussion was over what the next step should be. It can be characterized as: which comes first the chicken or the egg? The choice between sending it to the Parks & Rec Board or sending it to Timbo in the Planning & Inspections Department. Between us, this is the same exact discussion we had last month but here we are again. By sending it to the Planning Department first, the thinking is that it will help to narrow down the parameters of what we can do there. Once we know what we can do then we can discuss what we would prefer to do. Consensus was to send it to Timbo now and hold off on tasking Parks & Rec Board.

Tax records has the building value at $186,710
The
50% rule means most you can spend renovating is $93,355

Previously reported – September 2020
We still have no game plan for what we will do with this property that was purchased one (1) year ago.

Previously reported – November 2021
In the new Parks and Recreation Master Plan potential use of 796 OBW as a community recreation resource is highlighted (page 38) with several options for community use, and a proposed budget with no specifics is given (150K in 23/24). In addition, when the property was purchased, the board and staff brainstormed possible uses.

It would be beneficial for the Board to have input from the Parks and Rec Committee on how they envision using 796 OBW in advance of our budgeting for FY 22/23. A list of the top 2 or 3 more complete. Using descriptions with an estimated time needed to upgrade/renovate and estimated total costs for each by the February 2022 BOCM would be helpful to the Board.

THB Parks & Recreation Master Plan / 796 Ocean Boulevard

    • Consider reuse of this structure as a community recreation resource
    • Bathhouse (restrooms/showers)
    • Classroom or exhibit space
    • Rentable meeting space (with kitchen)
    • Improve parking layout
    • Improve accessibility ADA

Previously reported – January 2022
The Parks & Rec Master Plan lists a number of options for this facility. The Board is requesting that the Parks & Rec committee prioritizes them and recommend what they envision the building be used for. They would like a response from the committee by the BOC’s scheduled February meeting.

Previously reported – February 2022
PRAB Chair John McEntire made the presentation. He addressed the issues as the tasker required them to do. He went through the process that they took and briefly reviewed all considerations. They focused on the potential intended use of the property. They identified and explored several options. The PRAB determined that the property is optimally located to serve as a community center recreational facility as envisioned in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Update –
Joel homeowner at 798 OBW talked about the condition of 796 OBW a town owned property. He had a slide presentation; the pictures are in the agenda packet. A picture is worth a thousand words, it was an effective way to show how neglected the property is and that it currently is an eyesore. He is simply requesting that the Town of Holden Beach take actions to address the deteriorating conditions there. Commissioner Kwiatkowski reminded everyone that we purchased the building and need to keep it because of noise abatement issues with the adjacent lift station. Regardless of the plans for the building, basic maintenance needs to be performed periodically. Commissioner Dyer said that we need to revisit the master plan and decide what we are doing with that building. The staff is working to get an engineering analysis for the property  done. Christy said we don’t have funds allocated and it doesn’t make sense to spend any more money on the property until we decide what we are doing there. They agreed to clean it up, so it was presentable and not an eyesore without spending any significant funds. The Board asked staff to take care of any maintenance possible while the analysis is being completed .


11.  Ian After Action Report – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 73 – 86 which is too large to include here

Hurricane Ian After Action Report Presentation » click here

Previously reported – October 2022
David gave a brief report, his subjective opinion, as to how our beach strand held up during the storm event. There was very little damage during Hurricane Ian to the engineered portion of the beach.  He estimates that it will take approximately $300,000 to bring sand fencing and plantings to as before condition. Recognized that the west end did get hit hard with damage to walkways, dunes and vegetation there. They do not intend to survey either to quantify or qualify any sand loss since no funds are available. Beach equilibration has occurred.

Update –
David had a slide presentation called Quick Rinse to review and evaluate: Expectations, Reality, Outcomes, Review Operations Procedures. The storm event was forecasted as a low-grade Category 1 hurricane, which gave us a false sense of security. He estimated the damage to be in the eight (8) million-dollar range not including any damages to the beach strand. D
espite the raised stations the system doesn’t work when they are under a few feet of water caused by the storm surge.


12.  Discussion and Possible Approval of Ward and Smith, P.A. Engagement Letter – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
a. Ordinance 22-25, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023 (Amendment No. 4)

Agenda Packet – pages 87 – 91

Ward and Smith, P.A. in conjunction with the Ferguson Group represents the town in advocacy matters at the federal level as related to beach renourishment, Lockwood Folly Inlet maintenance, and dredge material disposal sites . Their contract also includes three additional areas to be determined based on town needs. We received their contract for 2023 (attachment 2) and the monthly retainer will be $9,225 per month, plus out-of-pocket expenses that typically total approximately $2,000 per month for The Ferguson Group. Approval of the contract would require a budget amendment (attachment 1), to increase BPART Professional Services expenses by $44,900 funded by a Fund Balance Appropriated increase of $44,900. The remainder of the contract will be executed through existing funds in the Canal Dredging Budget specific to the item on dredge material disposal sites .

Suggested Motion: Approval of Ward and Smith contract for 2023 and associated budget amendment, including directing the manager to execute the contract.

Previously reported – December 2020
The retainer for their services is $7,975 per month or a minimum of $95,700 annually. Retainer is the minimum it will cost us. Ferguson Group services are billed separately. Additionally, we are billed monthly for all kinds of additional charges. The agreement with Ward and Smith is for an annual total estimated advocacy cost of $119,700.

Previously reported – December 2021
The retainer for services will be $9,225 per month. Unless either of us terminates this engagement, this retainer will remain in place from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. Out -of-pocket expenses and costs relating to our representation are not included in the monthly fee but will be billed separately as incurred. Our work under this new contract will commence after we receive authorization from you. The monthly retainer in any event will be the minimal fee for our services rendered during any portion of the month for which is paid.

The retainer for their services is $9,225 per month or a minimum of $110,700 annually. Retainer is the minimum it will cost us. This is a 15.6% increase over last year’s retainer fee.

Update –
Our lobbyist Mike McIntyre with Ward & Smith in conjunction with the Ferguson Group represents the town in advocacy matters at the federal level as it is related to beach renourishment. The agreement with Ward and Smith is for an annual total estimated advocacy cost of $134,700. A motion was made for approval of the contract and associated budget amendment.

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)
Commissioner Kwiatkowski opposed the motion


13.  Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-26, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023 (Amendment No. 5) – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet – pages 92 – 93

The attached budget amendment recognizes the CAMA grant funds for the pier acquisition that were previously accepted through contract by the board. The funds in the amount $166,484 will be placed in a line titled CAMA Grants-Pier and will result in a decrease to the accommodations tax line in the same amount. Since the decrease in occupancy tax revenue will result in a $27,448 decrease in remittance to the county, a corresponding decrease in fund balance appropriated will be used to equalize revenues and expenses.

Suggested Motion: Approval of Budget Amendment

Moved funds of $27,448
From Revenue account #50.0399.0000 to Expense account#50.0410.0000

Update –
Housekeeping item, motion was approved as submitted

A decision was made – Approved unanimously 


  • 14.  Discussion and Possible Approval of Ordinance 22-27, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023 (AmendmentNo. 6) – Budget and Fiscal Analyst McRainey

Agenda Packet – pages 94 – 95

This amendment adds interest accounts for the town’s various debt services. Adding these accounts was suggested by the auditor to streamline end of year entries and financial statement preparation. This amendment will also aid in the implementation of the town’s new debt tracking software .

The recommended motion: is to approve Ordinance 22-27

 Update –
The amendment adds interest accounts at the auditor’s recommendation. Housekeeping item, motion was approved as submitted.

  • A decision was made – Approved unanimously

    15.  Discussion and Possible Action on Sewer Station Planning – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

    Agenda Packet – page 96

    Several months ago, the Town Manager indicated there were issues at Station 1 that might require work to be done. What is the status of the evaluation and is additional capital budget going to be required in the upcoming 18 months to perform repairs/upgrades.

    Some citizens have had questions regarding the resiliency of our sewer system given the recent impact of Hurricane Ian. The 2017 McGill sewer system report suggests an option for lift station construction that would improve flood resistance (option 3).

    Questions I have received follow (current program engineer’s opinion could be useful)

      • Would option 3 have prevented the Ian shutdown?
      • If yes, should lift station 2 be built to option 3 and
      • If yes, should planning put in place to remediate stations 3 and 4?

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski posed the questions on sewer station planning and Chris Clemmons the Public Works Director responded. We were informed that the issues at sewer station #1 have been resolved. The bottom line is that the options referenced in the McGill report are unnecessary and we would be spending money that will not fix the issues we had this time. Chris stated again that the system doesn’t work when they are under a few feet of water.


16.  Request for Staff for Expanded Financial Reporting of Professional Services and Recently Purchased Pier Projects – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 97

The BOC requested details on professional service expenses and the creation of a pier project plan (Block Q should be done as well) with cost categories to be able to follow revenues and expenses by categories. Professional service costs have reached a % of budget where details are warranted, and the pier project is showing first changes, so it is an appropriate time to add line items and begin categorization of expenses.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski reminded staff that the Board asked for this during the budget process.


17.  Request for Owner Input on Retaining Rights-of-Way Parking in Non-Designated Parking Areas Outside Paid Parking Hours During Season and in Offseason Months Next Year – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 98

The BOC decided to allow ROW parking outside designated paid parking times after some residents indicated they did not realize when answering a survey question on disallowing parking in the ROW that it would be illegal for owners and their guests to park in ROW adjacent to their homes. Before proceeding with trying to come up with possible solutions for owners, I would like to understand whether a significant number of owners on impacted residential streets (not OB, not in gated communities) believe they want/need ROW parking ln their vicinity.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski wanted to revisit rights-of-way parking since there was some misunderstanding by the public. She is questioning whether the public is satisfied with what we have. But if there are concerns the Board needs to know about them. Commissioner Smith intends to meet with stakeholders sometime around the end of the year and review and discuss lessons learned. So, the request from the Board is that now is the time to tell them if they were adversely impacted as the ordinance is written.

 


KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid!

 

.

Generally speaking, a right-of-way is an easement. So, the town does not own the property in the public right-of-way, just the right to use the land. Typically, property owners can use the right-of-way as they can the rest of their property, but subject to the possibility of it being utilized at some point in the future. I totally get that. It’s that the public is entitled to park in the rights-of-way that I’m really struggling with. So let me get this straight, you spend big bucks to landscape your property and put in an irrigation system, but the public can park on your property trashing your landscaping and irrigation system. In what universe does this make any sense? Seriously, am I the only one that questions why we allow cars to park in the rights-of-way anywhere on the island? The original intent of the Parking Committee was to eliminate all rights-of-way parking. However, not allowing any parking in the rights-of-way creates its own set of problems. Commissioner Murdock said at one of the BOC’s meetings that most property owners do not want people parking in their yard, we need to eliminate parking in the rights-of-way. We need to find a solution to the parking problem, an alternative to rights-of-way parking by providing a reasonable number of parking spots. As for all ordinance considerations, it is important that any definitions and conditions are clear to help owners avoid inadvertent errors and enable enforcement. In other words, it needs to be standardized, and easily understood by the public. Just so you know, the public can legally park their vehicles in the rights-of-way excluding regulated areas listed in the ordinance at this time of the year. I am the editor of the newsletter, and it was news to me. I personally object to parking in the rights-of-way, but I understand why some property owners want to be able to park there on their property. A potential accommodation would be to issue a day specific one-time permit for any homeowners that have an activity at their property that requires them to park in the  rights-of-way. Parking should only be in designated parking spaces whether its paid parking or not, plain and simple.

I encourage you to send an email, whether for or against, to heather@hbtownhall.com.


18.  Request for Staff for Status of Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study Information Request to the Corps of Engineers – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 99

Request to Staff for Status of CSDR Study Information Request to ACE (minutes of year 1 meetings, further cost details by month), discussion and action as needed.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski stated we are entitled to receive this information. David said we had not received the information that was requested. Pat asked David to follow up on their original request for information.


  • 19.  Town Manager’s Report

FEMA storm damage repair project (CRP2)
THB has requested formal project closeout. $600k in eligible project expenses reimbursement is still pending until final inspection is completed.

Tax Values
The County tax administrator has informed us that the tax values on Holden Beach are up approximately 65%. A revenue neutral tax rate is the rate decrease that is necessary to generate the same amount of revenue, based on increased property values that will be established by the County property revaluation this year.  Town Manager Hewett responded that based on the increased property values we would need to change our tax rate from 20 cents to 11 cents per $100 of property valuation in order to have a revenue neutral tax rate. The caveat is that this number was just a ballpark figure and he doesn’t have exact figures at this time.

Paid Parking
Done for the year, the revenue from the first season is $455,000

Planning & Inspections Director Tim Evans
Timbo was congratulated for his workshop and other activities.  He has been the subject of two investigations, and both have been dismissed. The Town Manager thanked him for his work. 

General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC)
Thank you to the GFWC of Holden Beach for their hard work and accomplishment of placing a little free library in Sailfish Park. Club members created a design, and asked members’ husbands to help build and paint a beautiful addition to our park. GFWC’s have been instrumental to little free libraries across the country. Thank you for your contribution to our community!

 Visit our Facebook page to see pictures from the ceremony.


In Case You Missed It –


Town of Holden Beach Newsletter (11/10/22)
Veterans Day Proclamation
Happy Veterans Day to our soldiers, both past and present. We appreciate all of the dedicated veterans who have served our great nation. Click here to read a proclamation issued by Mayor Holden honoring our veterans.


National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On September 30, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to December 16, 2022.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP
by no later than 11:59 pm on December 16, 2022


                  Christmas Lights

Public Works have put up snow flake decorations on the boulevard light poles

Purple street lights are not part of the holiday decorations they are the LED’s failing



Upcoming Events –


Turkey Trot
The Town of Holden Beach will hold its eighth annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, November 24th at 8 a.m. All individuals interested in participating should call 910.842.6488 to register. Please bring a canned food item to donate to the local food pantry.


Tree Lighting
Come one, Come all!
The Town of Holden Beach will hold its fourteenth annual Tree Lighting annual tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, December 1st at 6 pm, entertainment starts at 5:15pm.

Merry Twistmas!
We will have two contests this year. Bring your best Twist moves for our Merry Twistmas Contest and get dressed up for our Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.


Sandy Paws Dog Parade
Join us on Saturday, December 2nd at 10:00 am outside the Town Hall Public Assembly for our annual Sandy Paws Dog Parade. This will be a short walk to the Pavilion where you can have you dog’s picture taken with Santa.


 

Run Holden Beach
The eighth annual Run Holden Beach event is scheduled on Saturday, December 10th.


The Chapel Choir’s Christmas Musical Performance
The Holden Beach Choir is preparing for its second Christmas concert with a live orchestra. On Sunday December 11th at 7:00 pm, the choir will present the musical I Have Seen the Light, accompanied by a Chamber Orchestra composed of strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion. It is going to be a beautiful evening of Christmas music you will not want to miss. Mark your calendars now for this very special Christmas concert. It will be the highlight of your holiday season.


20. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3), To Consult with the Town Attorney  – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

No decision was made – No action taken


  • General Comments –


    BOC’s Meeting

    The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, December 20th

     


    .

      • Request for Qualifications (RFQ).     .     1) Block Q
            2) Pier Properties
        .     3) Water Tower
        .     4) Stormwater

 


.
I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family and friends

and all of the memories that make you thankful!

November 24, 2022


    • .

    • Hurricane Season
      For more information » click here.

      Be prepared – have a plan!

No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,
vigilance and preparedness is urged.


How Rare Are November Hurricanes?
November hurricanes and tropical storms such as Nicole are relatively rare, but they can—and do—form
November weather in most of North America is synonymous with chilly breezes rustling through red, yellow and orange leaves as fall edges closer to winter. It’s generally not a time people associate with destructive tropical cyclones churning toward the U.S.—but that’s exactly what is happening as Tropical Storm Nicole bears down on Florida, where it is expected to make landfall as a hurricane. Though such tropical systems are less common at this time of year, the official Atlantic hurricane season actually lasts through November 30. And storms can form even after that point, as notably happened during the blockbuster 2005 season when Tropical Storm Zeta shockingly formed on December 20 and lasted until January 6. Hurricane season, which begins on June 1, brackets the time of year when atmospheric and ocean conditions are most suitable for storm formation. The season peaks sharply from the end of August through early October, when ocean warmth at end of summer coincides with wind conditions that are generally more favorable to storm formation. Storm activity “starts to decline pretty quickly once November 1 hits,” says Jill Trepanier, a hurricane researcher at Louisiana State University. That drop means November is also “the quietest month from the perspective of U.S. landfall activity,” says Ryan Truchelut, a meteorologist and co-founder of WeatherTiger, a private weather-forecasting group. Only 10 tropical storms and three hurricanes have struck the U.S. during November going back to 1851, he says, so on average such a landfall would happen about every 10 to 15 years. There are some years that are true outliers. Three November storms, one of them a hurricane, formed in 2005. More recently, “November was crazy in 2020,” Truchelut says, thanks to exceptionally warm waters in the Caribbean. Hurricane Eta hit Nicaragua as a category 4 storm, followed two weeks later by another category 4 hurricane, Iota. Any storms that do form in November tend to be weaker for the same reasons they are somewhat rare. As fall progresses, solar energy shifts from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere and more northerly latitudes rapidly cool down, Trepanier explains. This creates a big contrast with the lingering warmth farther south, strengthening the polar jet stream—which then sends incursions of cold air southward. These incursions increase a feature called wind shear (when winds vary in speed and direction at different levels of the atmosphere), and that in turn disrupts the convection at the core of tropical systems that powers them. Though Nicole will probably be relatively weak in terms of wind speed, its winds cover a large area and are thus expected to bring storm surge to the entire east coast of Florida. This happens to coincide with a period of higher-than-normal high tides, which will amplify surge amounts. Historically, any November storms that do hit the U.S. have tended to strike Florida because they most commonly form in the nearby western Caribbean, Truchelut says. The most recent November hurricane to hit the state was Kate, which struck the Florida panhandle on November 22, 1985, as a category 2 storm. Nicole will set the record for the latest in the season that a storm has hit the state’s east coast. The previous record holder was the Yankee Hurricane, which made landfall near Miami Beach on November 4, 1935 (this was before meteorologists began giving official names to hurricanes and tropical storms). Having a late-season threat from Nicole so relatively soon after Eta hit the state as a tropical storm in 2020—twice—raises the question of whether late-season storms will become more frequent as climate change brings warmer ocean waters, Truchelut says. A study he co-authored, published earlier this year in Nature Communications, looked for statistical evidence that the hurricane season might be growing longer at both ends. Though this research found strong evidence that the season is starting earlier, that evidence was weak for the end of the season. It is possible there is a trend that simply cannot yet be detected, he notes, because “it’s hard to get a trend for rare events.” Nicole also underscores the lesson that people living in hurricane-prone areas need to keep paying attention and be prepared to act on forecasts, even after the peak of the season has passed, Trepanier says. “Driving home that point is important.”
Read more » click here


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